Research

farmer in field

How do African farm households respond to changes in current and past weather?

July 10, 2018

In the coming decades, climate change will bring higher temperatures, less precipitation and more rainfall variability to countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The changing weather patterns will have a major impact on rain-fed agriculture, which will affect the welfare of hundreds of millions of people in countries where the majority of the population are smaller holder […]

Better understanding of the tropical cyclone wind-pressure relationship

July 10, 2018

Better understanding hurricanes and tropical cyclones will help us make better decisions about the risks of these hazards to people, buildings, and infrastructure. New research led by professor Dan Chavas (Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences) suggests that our current system for categorizing hurricanes is problematic—both in terms of our physical understanding of hurricanes, and when […]

Protest signs

Pushing (and Installing) the Right Buttons: How a cognitive and cultural evolutionary perspective on social norms can help address climate change

July 10, 2018

Years of research conducted by social psychologists working on understanding how people process and respond to climate change information have centered on understanding the emotional and social nature of climate change denial, or the ways in which the challenges of climate change make up a perfect storm, eluding the grasp of much of our intuitive […]

Evidence disproving tropical ‘thermostat’ theory

July 10, 2018

New research findings show that as the world warmed millions of years ago, conditions in the tropics may have made it so hot some organisms couldn’t survive. This refutes the long-standing notion that as the Earth warms, temperatures in the tropics would be strictly limited, and essentially “regulated” by the Earth’s internal “thermostat.” Getting this […]

Leadership and Strength in Utqiagvik, Alaska

July 10, 2018

For nearly a decade, professors Laura Zanotti (Anthropology) and Courtney Carothers (University of Alaska) have been working to provide a detailed ethnographic picture of the ways in which Alaska Native communities are responding to global challenges—like climate change and globalization—while at the same time retaining and practicing their core indigenous values. As part of their […]

U.S.-China: A multi-scale integrated modeling approach to managing the transition to sustainability

July 10, 2018

As global population rises to 7.5 billion people and beyond, concern is growing about the planet’s carrying capacity across the multiple and interacting dimensions of food, water and energy systems (FEWS). The overarching goal of this project is to enable the transition to sustainable FEWS by achieving the multi-factorial assessment of tradeoffs needed to achieve […]

climate change affect tree ecosystems

Modification of lignin in hybrid poplar trees

July 10, 2018

Lignin is a structural component of cell walls that forms a physical barrier against insects and pathogens and helps prevent vascular collapse when the plant is water stressed. Lignin, however, impedes access to cellulose during biofuel production but plants, including woody feedstocks like poplar trees, can be genetically modified to improve processing efficiency. Modification of […]

Towards a resilient grid: a framework that integrates the growing risks of sever weather- induced outages

July 10, 2018

Power outages caused by severe weather events cost billions of dollars in economic losses each year. It is estimated that these outages have cost the U.S. economy an inflation-adjusted annual average of $20 billion to $55 billion during the period of 2003-2012. However, current federal- and state-level risk and reliability metrics and standards do not […]

Tree type and fire intensity influence soil carbon storage in forest ecosystems

July 10, 2018

Fire is a major ecosystem disturbance that can temporarily shift a forest from being a net carbon sink to a large source of atmospheric CO2 and aerosols, affecting the global carbon cycle and climate. Although much is known about the impacts of forest fires to the atmosphere, there is less information about how fires affect carbon […]

Make it personal: attack the scientist and scare the consumer

July 10, 2018

Denying climate change science has long been seen as the main impediment to the development of climate change and energy policies. In the U.S., climate change “skepticism” can be traced back to misinformation campaigns from the 1990s calling into question the certainty of climate science. Recently, however, new research suggests that climate policy opponents are […]

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